Stay sharp this summer vacation — Top five ideas for college students

Summer vacationEight weeks of doing nothing but working on your tan and seeing how many hours you can pack into one night’s sleep. That may sound like a pretty darn good summer vacation plan now, but the smartest college students know that to stay sharp over the break we have to keep the ‘ole noodle active! Read on to discover five ideas we can use to have a great summer vacation, without wrecking our back-to-school experience come fall.

1. Internships pay

Ok, not really. At least not in the way that we wish. But spending summer vacation learning valuable work skills that can last a lifetime—priceless! Or something like that. But seriously, landing a summer internship can be a great way to get set up for a job after school. Even if it doesn’t turn into a job at that specific company, the experience might impress another employer. Which beats the heck out of waiting tables and living in our parent’s basement, after graduation.

2. Don’t forget deadlines

Just because we aren’t in class, doesn’t mean that the world isn’t still turning. Specifically, the world of deadlines at our school. Emily Driscoll recommended in “Five Things Every College Student Should Do this Summer” for foxbusiness.com on June 22, 2012 that we “stay on top of all time-sensitive financial or administrative obligations necessary for next semester.”

3. Discover LinkedIn

No, it’s not going to be as much fun as seeing what your friends are up to on Facebook, but spending some time on LinkedIn goes hand-in-hand with tip #1 in terms of boosting future job prospects. Poke around, look at profiles and work on your own. It can’t hurt to do a little “maintenance” shall we say on our over-all Web presence. Driscoll says this about social media such as Facebook, “Know what your career field expects and retool your social media site – this may mean tightening up security, suspending your account, or making yourself ‘unfindable.’”

4. Take a week off

Well it is summer vacation after all. And we all need a little break, right? Just don’t go overboard, after all if we aren’t doing anything, what exactly are we vacating from?

5. Do one thing

Maybe no internship materialized. That’s fine. But when fall rolls around, do you want to be the one who has no answer to “Whatcha been doin’ all summer?” In “College Summer Tips” for hackcollege.com on April 10, 2012, Lev Novak wrote, “Someone’s going to ask you what you did this summer. And you’re going to need a better answer then ‘stuff.’ Fortunately, ‘stuff and X’ is a fair answer. And that variable is up to you. Learn to cook. Write a novel, play an instrument. It doesn’t matter.”

Well, it matters a little … But the point is, be productive—even just a little.

So all those times our parents nagged us in high school to not waste our summers, to read or do something? Well, as much as we hate to admit it, they had a point. The National Summer Learning Association on their website page, “Know The Facts” says that “Research spanning 100 years shows that students typically score lower on standardized tests at the end of summer vacation than they do on the same tests at the beginning of the summer.” We may not be bound by curfews or class bells any more, but we can still lose our focus and our momentum over summer vacation. Don’t let it happen to you!

Any other ideas on ways to maximize your brain power during summer vacation? Tell us in the comments below!

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